Make the most of your holidays: How to plan the ultimate short trip

Make the most of your holidays: How to plan the ultimate short trip

Paid partnership

Looking to get the most out of your short-term holidays? Mobile bank bunq share their suggestions on using technology to help you plan better and discover more! 

Technology has massively lowered the barriers for travel - and when your time away is limited, it enables you to really make the most of your trip. Here’s how. 

1. Map out your “must sees” before you go

One particularly effective way to plan a weekend trip is to map out the points of interest you would like to see before you leave. For example, you can pin different locations on Google Maps to plan your itinerary.

Cross-referencing the locations you want to visit with information about waiting times, ticketed access to locations and community reviews on Google or TripAdvisor will help you to form a realistic and time-effective plan for your weekend. Also, in places where you don’t have regular access to mobile data, this approach can really help you to navigate at your destination.

If you are taking the trip with friends, involving them in the planning and pinning makes for a fun way to understand what other people want to do on the trip and helps build the excitement for the weekend away!

2. Get familiar with local transportation

Now that you know where you want to go and what you want to see, the next step is understanding what your options are with transportation. One of the biggest time-wasters on a short trip is figuring out how to get from one location to the next, so a bit of advance planning goes a long way.

For public transport, key things to keep in mind are:

  • How much it costs - is it better to buy a multi-day pass or single tickets?
  • Can you use a multi-ticket on different types of transport like buses, trains and trams?
  • Opening hours - how late does public transport run and how frequently?
  • Check if there is a local public transport network app or use navigation apps like Google Maps or CityMapper

With private transport like taxis, don’t assume that Uber and other popular ride-sharing apps are available at your destination. It is wise to know what types of private transport are available, how you can book it and what you can roughly expect to pay per kilometer.

For car / scooter hire, do some research on the hidden costs associated with having your own transportation, like parking fees and fuel prices.

3. Consider using a travel card 

Using a travel card in conjunction with getting cash out can help you to ensure you’ve got all your needs covered, especially if your trip is outside of the Eurozone. You can compare different travel cards online - some, like the bunq Travel Card, offer significant savings on foreign exchange and ATM fees, freeing up more money to enjoy your trip!

Having a travel card can help you control your spending, since it requires you to load a specific budget in advance. It can also be used in the same way as a normal debit or credit card, with the added buffer of not going into the red, to avoid yet more fees for you. Understanding average local prices for the basics (meals, transportation, accommodation) helps you to develop a budget.

A travel card also allow you to spread your money across multiple cards, in case one goes missing or is stolen. Should your card be stolen or lost, it’s always a good idea to freeze or cancel your card.

Typically, once you get your travel card, you’ll need to link it to a bank account in order to top-up money in whichever currency you require.

4. Make an effort to enjoy local experiences

Sometimes the most memorable experiences while traveling come from something unexpected. There are hidden gems in any city and the best way to figure out what they are is by interacting with the locals. 

Learn a few key phrases based on your interests in the local language by using a resource like Duolinguo before you go. This is a great way to find local markets, attractions, points of interest, nightlife and much more.

You will be surprised at the enthusiasm and rich recommendations you will receive when engaging with locals in their own language, even if your pronunciation isn’t perfect! Give it a try and you may just find the highlight of your trip in this way!

5. Ditch your bags to carry less and see more

It’s a fairly common scenario that while travelling, your departure or arrival time and the ability to check in / check out at your accommodation don’t quite match up. It could also be the case that your accommodation is located far away from the method of transport you need to get back home or to the airport.

To avoid the dilemma of what to do with your bags during your first or final hours in a destination, why not try using a luggage storage service to free you up to get around easily. 

Gone are the days when you had to pay through the nose for a tiny locker at the local station - online services like Stasher, Bagbnb and Nannybag all let you store your luggage in thousands of partner locations in cities all over the world. Not only do they offer very affordable prices but they are also fully secure and insured. So drop those bags and get exploring!

Ready to make the most out of your travels? The bunq Travel Card offers the real exchange rate and zero additional charges, anywhere in the world.

Elise Hofman


Elise Hofman

Growing up in the U.S. as an American Dutchie, I moved to Amsterdam 2 years ago to explore my Dutch roots, take on a new adventure across the Atlantic and...

Read more



Leave a comment